University of Kentucky All-American Valerie Still, former Wildcat head coach Mickie DeMoss and letterwinner Ceal Barry have been named three of 10 finalists for the 2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced last night by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The Class of 2018 will be selected from the 10 finalists and announced on ESPN2 on Feb. 12. The 2018 induction will mark the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which held its grand opening and inaugural induction in 1999. The Class of 2018 will be officially inducted in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 9.
Joining Still (player), DeMoss (contributor – assistant coach) and Barry (coach) on the finalists list are Yelena Baranova (international player), Rose Marie Battaglia (veteran, contributor), Christine Dailey (contributor – assistant coach), Chamique Holdsclaw (player), Vickie Orr (player), Katie Smith (player) and Tina Thompson (player).
Valerie Still (1979-83), who was honored on Jan. 12, 2003 with a jersey retirement ceremony becoming the first female letterwinner in any UK sport to have her jersey retired, is still the leader among all Wildcats (men or women) for career scoring (2,763) and rebounding (1,525). She was a three-time consensus All-American and led the program in scoring four-straight seasons with a career average of 23.2 points. At one point during the 1981-82 season, she led the nation in both scoring and rebounding before finishing second in both categories (24.8 ppg and 14.3 rpg).
Still led the Cats to their highest national ranking (No. 4) in 1983 and helped UK roll up a 30-game home court win streak from 1980-82. In 1983, Still led the sixth-ranked Cats to an 80-66 upset over powerhouse Old Dominion before a record crowd of 10,622 in Memorial Coliseum.
After leaving Kentucky, Still had a successful career in the Italian Professional League. Upon her return to the United States, Still became a charter member of the American Basketball League for Women and was a two-time MVP of the ABL Championship Series. Still later played for the Washington Mystics of the WNBA before retiring from basketball. She also was an assistant coach for the Orlando Miracle for two seasons.
Still returned to Lexington to complete her degree in animal sciences and graduated with honors in 2001. She went on to earn a master’s degree in African American and African studies at Ohio State University. In September 2005, Still was inducted into the charter class in the newly created UK Athletics Hall of Fame. She was the only female of the 88 inductees.
Mickie DeMoss will best be remembered as the architect who took over a struggling program in 2003 and in a short amount of time rebuilt UK women’s basketball back into a national contender. During her tenure the Wildcats participated in postseason play three consecutive seasons (one NCAA Tournament and two WNIT) and captured back-to-back 20-win seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07) for the first time since the 1989-90 and 1990-91 teams accomplished the feat.
DeMoss was named the 2006 SEC Coach of the Year, a UK first, after guiding the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons. The Cats posted a 22-9 overall record in 2005-06, including a school-record nine conference wins and Kentucky made national headlines when it defeated No. 1 Tennessee in Rupp Arena. It was UK’s first win over a top-ranked team in school history.
DeMoss also drastically increased fan attendance, as UK ranked in the top three of the SEC and top 20 in national average attendance all four of her seasons. UK went from averaging 1,694 fans prior to her arrival in 2003 to breaking the school record with 5,863 fans per game in her final season.
Prior to UK, DeMoss spent 18 seasons at Tennessee, helping the Lady Vols garner six national championship titles and 13 Final Four appearances. She also was the head coach four seasons at Florida (1979-83). In eight seasons as a head coach, DeMoss has a career record of 116-124, including a 26-65 mark in the SEC.
Since leaving UK, DeMoss has served as an assistant coach at Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. She is currently an assistant coach at LSU.
An honoree of the Sue Feamster Trailblazer Award, Ceal Barry was a four-year letterwinner at Kentucky under Feamster and Debbie Yow from 1974-77. Barry, who attended Assumption High School in Louisville, Kentucky, was a guard with the Wildcats and part of the first class of female student-athletes to receive scholarship aid for athletics.
After graduation, she spent four seasons as head coach at Cincinnati and 22 seasons at the helm of the Colorado women’s basketball program before retiring in 2005. She now serves as a Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Administrator at CU. A few of her many accolades are: 1994 National Coach of the Year; 1995 Carol Eckman Award; 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist; two-time District V Coach of the Year; four-time Big Eight Coach of the Year; 510 Career Wins at UC and CU; 12 NCAA Tournaments.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.
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